Imagine a huge anthill that has just been stepped on—Millions of ants scurry every which way. Now imagine those same racing ants hopped up on energy drinks and on fire. That's just about what it’s like in the minds of marketing and public relations professionals as we deal with seemingly endless challenges because of increasingly fragmented audiences and splintered channels.
Communications has come a long way even from just a decade ago. At the turn of the century, the digital revolution began to change the way PR would be handled and almost no one envisioned the hodgepodge that was to come.
Getting a marketing message out to targeted audiences has become increasingly more complicated. These days, communications professionals must be innovative and adaptable to remain competitive.
Staying on top of the marketing and PR game can be difficult, even for us professionals. We are expected to know the latest and greatest methods for getting client messages out to the right people.
Everyday we're pulled in hundreds of directions. Whether it's a meeting, developing creative content, making sure a column we've ghostwritten is completed and submitted by deadline or handling a public relations crisis for a client, it's tough to keep up with not only what's hot but also with what may be big down the road. We are constantly on the lookout for the next big thing and how it can be incorporated it into a client’s constantly evolving strategy.
To make the most out of your marketing and public relations this year, we did the research so you wouldn’t have to. Here are 10 insider PR and marketing trends worth following in 2015:
1. Integration of Marketing, PR, and Social Media
All of these practices are interdependent. It is essential that they blend together in constructing an all-around strategy presented prior to launch that includes disseminating news and content as well as evaluating results along with a plan to course-correct in real-time. All of these endeavors merged together produce a symbiotic result that will bring about the ideal conclusion. Three examples of integrated campaigns.
2. Visual Press Releases
The customary text laden structure you see most often in press releases will shift to include more visual content. A visual demonstration of one’s message can be a crucial element for success. Multiple visuals within a press release will generate more views. Think bullets, bolding and breaks for embedded pictures that won't be marked as spam. The key to press release success: multiple visual elements.
3. A Continual Escalation of Mobile Use
Consider this: 91% of all adults on Earth have a mobile phone, 80% of online adults now own a smartphone, 63% of adult cell owners use their phones to go online and 4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to shop. The rise in usage is expected to progress even further in 2015 and beyond. Optimize your messaging for mobile screens and thumb responses. Your mobile experience needs to be simple and easy to digest. Small screen sizes make little buttons, large images and lengthy forms experience killers. Keep things compact and present only what your customers really need. The customer is already there. Are you? 5 Simple Steps to Getting Started With Mobile Marketing.
4. Increased Significance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The significance of online search continues to increase for businesses. Even gaining the smallest SEO advantage will realize a noticeable return in ability to attract customers. One cannot afford to ignore the expertise of SEO specialists or learn the language. Content filled with keywords, hashtags, alt tags and meta tags should be the standard. But most importantly, do not forget about optimizing for local search. In fact, of the estimated 30 billion annual mobile searches, about 12 billion are local searches. 7 Advanced Ways to Improve Your Site's SEO.
5. Image Centric Content Will Rule
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the human attention span has dropped 4 seconds since 2000 and is now a full second less than that of a goldfish. In the ever increasing world of short attention spans, companies must look for ways to convey their message concisely and visually. Communications experts are also recognizing that the public would rather learn something from videos than be brazenly advertised to. Content should deliver value. Incorporating educational content with one’s message will be much more effective. Here are some tips on The ideal length for everything on the Internet.
6. A Calculated Social Media Strategic Plan
Greater results will be gained by calculating one’s purpose. You can better capture the audience by focusing on who and where they are and their concerns. The right platforms and messaging is key. Central positioning and genuine bonds develop with the target audience in this way. Realizing that the various social media platforms can have different demographics is crucial. How to Navigate Today's Fragmented Social Media Landscape.
7. Audience Participation
We are all familiar with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that became a viral sensation. The genius idea was a smashing success at spreading brand awareness. Why not attempt to get the audience involved with your own challenge? And if it doesn't work, try a different one. Standing out takes effort. How 10 Marketing Campaigns Became Viral Hits.
8. Borderless Marketing and PR
Digital doesn’t respect borders. Global relationships have easily been formed due to the internet and social media. Irrespective of geographical borders, companies can appropriate influence, no matter where it’s from, to spread brand awareness. Third parties (especially international ones) also lend "third-party validation" to your efforts. Future of ‘Glocal’ Branding: Borderless Marketing.
Communicators that get their message in or covered by major outlets will be ahead of the game. There is a plethora of places in which a company’s message can be placed, but don’t be fooled. Just a brief mention in the New York Times is worth more than a placement in a hundred blogs with little traffic. Obtaining coverage in major media outlets is definitely an important plan of action. 3 Ways To Build Instant Credibility For Your Brand.
10. Real-time Marketing
With the continued prevalence of social media, messages built on current events that can be quickly dispersed can be quite effective. This is an essential marketing strategy in showcasing one’s brand identity. (Hint: Try breaking your next story on Twitter. Be ready for feedback.)
Need help with your marketing? Signal us!
HEROfarm Marketing, Public Relations & Design
504.451.4282 | firstname.lastname@example.org | @herofarm | Facebook